High blood pressure before age 40 linked to earlier strokes, heart disease

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By Reuters

People who develop high blood pressure before age 40 have a higher risk of heart disease and strokes in middle age, two new studies suggest.

One of the studies followed 4,800 young adults in the U.S. and found elevated blood pressure before age 40 associated with up to 3½ times greater risk of heart disease and strokes over about 19 years of follow-up.

The second study examined data on almost 2.5 million young adults in South Korea over a decade and also found that high blood pressure before age 40 was linked to greater risk of heart disease and strokes. Women in this study had up to a 76 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while for men the risk was 85 percent higher, compared with peers with normal blood pressure.

“Elevated blood pressure in early adulthood can result in heart attacks by several mechanisms, and these levels of blood pressure may progress to higher levels over time,” said Ramachandran Vasan of the Boston University School of Medicine and School of Public Health.



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